CA Two Week Training (Full with waitlist)

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Oct 10th, 2020 - Oct 23rd, 2020 | Big Pine and Eureka Valley | Ruth “Roo” Wharton, Larry Hobbs | Training

This training gives the student an immersion in the vision fast ceremony, including the skills involved in leading the vision fast and an understanding of how the principles of the vision fast can be applied to a profession, community, or client. Trainees are encouraged to learn the form, the process, and then to give it their own unique expression within life and work. Throughout the two weeks, the trainee will be challenged to wear two hats: one is the hat of the person training in the ways of the vision fast guide and the other is the hat of the person learning experientially what it is like to actually go out on the land as a participant. 

The first five days are given over to preparation (severance). Morning and afternoon meetings are the norm. Instruction includes: the mirroring dynamics of story councils; screening and preparation of candidates in four areas: physical, psychological, mental, and spiritual; the four shields of human-nature; the sacred and the profane; the dynamics of fasting; self-generated ceremony; the power of taboos, death lodge; purpose circle; the mirror of nature; and the shaping and confirmation of intent.

On the sixth day, Trainees go out into the wilds of the high desert, find a place to fast and set up communication stone piles with their buddies. On the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth days, the trainee lives alone and fasts in a wilderness place (Threshold). Sometimes, trainees will choose to remain in basecamp as support persons during the fast. 

On the morning of the eleventh day, the fasters return to basecamp (Incorporation). That evening the group will go out for a celebratory feast in Bishop, CA. On the twelfth and thirteenth days, each story is told in the council of elders. The elders witness, mirror meaning, and empower intent. On the fourteenth day, we look at the process that has just unfolded from a training perspective and prepare ourselves to reenter our lives. 

Prerequisite: at least one vision fast 

Preparing ahead of time: Every trainee must ask: What am I going out to mark, celebrate, or confirm? What is my intent? Who will benefit from my training (Who are my people)?

Practical preparation: The School makes no provisions for meals or equipment. We ask everyone to come prepared to live self-sufficiently. You will need to bring shelter and clothing suitable for a full range of inclement weather. We request all participants to purchase the vision fast handbook, “The Trail to the Sacred Mountain” and highly recommend “The Roaring of the Sacred River” both available from  Lost Borders Press


Initiation is a universal rite, an archetypal form that surfaces and influences life wherever events have the spirit of beginning or the weight of an end. As an elemental pattern of archetypal style, initiation is a “whole way” of seeing into the world, one that sees death as part of the fabric of life. On the ground of initiation, death is the opposite of birth, not the opposite of life. Life includes both, and the spirit of life regenerates in the land of death. Archaic rites of initiation show the basic pattern for genuine change. For any transformation to be meaningful it must be thorough, and to be thorough requires both the ache of loss and a spirit of regeneration. 

~ Michael Meade (Crossroads: The Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage)

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TUITION: $1,000 - $1,750
DEPOSIT: $300

We have a sliding scale for our programs in an effort to make them accessible. Please pay what you are able and know that your generosity supports the affordability of all our programs. If you need financial support or a payment plan check out our scholarship fund.

Pay program deposit

This deposit signifies your commitment to the program and is deducted from the tuition balance. This is a non-refundable, non-transferable deposit that is required for enrollment.

Submit enrollment form

Once you have paid the program deposit, please fill out and submit the enrollment form below. After your enrollment form is complete, please submit all health and liability forms.

Submit Waitlist form

This program is full; however, you may add your name to the Waitlist by clicking the Waitlist button below.

Additional course details & Materials

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You will be responsible for bringing your own food and equipment, though we can provide some gear if needed. We ask everyone to come prepared to live self-sufficiently. You will need to bring shelter and clothing suitable for a full range of inclement weather. 

To address safety concerns during the pandemic, please contact us regarding our current Coronavirus protocols as well as any current travel restrictions. These protocols may affect how you are able to travel to the program.

All participants must submit the required health and liability forms.

Following enrollment, please submit the Letter of Intent. We ask that you write a letter of intent at least a month before the program, stating your reasons for enrolling and what is calling you to attend.

If you have questions about the enrollment process contact us at [email protected] or call 760-938-3333.

To learn more about our commitment to regenerative relationships please visit Cultural Relations.